While both the Habs and IceCaps started their week off well, it went downhill from there. Montreal lost three straight to end the week while struggling to score while St. John’s dropped a pair over the weekend.
Alex Galchenyuk: He doesn’t look 100% yet which is quite concerning considering he came back too early a couple of weeks ago. There were flashes where he looks his normal self while there were others where he looked lost and almost disinterested. Hopefully he starts to find his footing before the bye week as the Habs are in dire need of scoring help and that’s something he can provide when he’s on his game.
Al Montoya: If his play against the Oilers wasn’t enough to show Michel Therrien that he’s worthy of a few more starts, I don’t know what it will take. Part of the reason for signing a better backup was to lessen the workload on Carey Price but over the last couple of months, that hasn’t been the case. If they can commit two more years to his contract, they can commit a few more starts to him as well.
Nikita Nesterov: So far, so good for the most part. I’m a bit worried with how often he looks to join the rush though. While the Habs don’t discourage some of their defencemen from jumping into the play from time to time, it’s not something that should be happening more often than not. He’s pretty good with the puck and in the offensive zone but it’s clear that he needs a lot of work in other areas.
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Shootout – Skaters:
Shootout – Goalies:
Goals: Max Pacioretty (25)
Assists: Alexander Radulov (28)
Points: Max Pacioretty (44)
+/-: Shea Weber (+17)
PIMS: Andrew Shaw (88)
Shots: Max Pacioretty (163)
After a tough home stand, St. John’s started their next road trip with a really tough 3-in-3 stretch. While they were able to knock off the league-leading Penguins, they dropped a pair of games to Hershey over the weekend.
News and Notes:
– Forward John McCarron was released from his PTO deal. He was held pointless in three games with the IceCaps.
– Josiah Didier scored his first career AHL goal on Sunday. It was his 85th game between Hamilton and St. John’s.
– Stefan Matteau has been held without a goal in 16 straight games and has just three assists in that span.
– Lines from last game:
Hudon – Terry – Carr
Matteau – McCarron – Friberg
Farnham – Audette – Scherbak
Broll – Gregoire – Ranger
Hanley – Redmond
Lernout – Johnston
Samuelsson – Didier
Goals: Chris Terry (14)
Assists: Chris Terry (23)
Points: Chris Terry (37)
+/-: Brett Lernout (+6)
PIMS: Stefan Matteau (92)
Shots: Chris Terry (82)
February 8: St. John’s vs Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
February 10: St. John’s vs Lehigh Valley
February 11: St. John’s vs Lehigh Valley
At what point does a slow stretch become more of a concerning trend? It’s a question that currently applies to the Habs and I’m not talking about the sudden drop in secondary scoring.
In the last 13 games, the Canadiens have drawn more than three power plays just once. I know that penalties aren’t getting called like they used to but that’s still not a pretty stat. Is it a lack of hustle that isn’t earning them the benefit of the doubt? Perhaps. Is their reputation of being a smaller team hurting them? It’s certainly a possibility. Are the referees penalizing them for carrying Andrew Shaw? The way he’s been lately, I wouldn’t rule that out.
Whatever the case may be, we’re quickly crossing the point where this goes from a small sample size to something that needs to be addressed quickly. I think that’s a big key for Montreal this week, to get back to the man advantage more frequently. In theory, that should help them get their shot totals closer to where they should be and perhaps even an extra goal or two and with the way they’re not scoring right now, that would go a long way.